Growing up on the edge of Dartmoor, the mythology, legend and storytelling of that area is written into my own history. Each painting in my ‘Home’ series references a local legend which has spoken to me. Here’s one of my favourites….
A tale of three rivers.
Once the world was a very different place, a place belonging to the fey and ethereal. A place of magic and mystery. Tamara was a creature of the fey, a beautiful young Nymph who inhabited the magical underworld. But Tamara was wild and bold, exploring the land above, where she caught the attention of two brother giants. Both smitten with love for the young nymph they vied for her attention as she teased. Here the tale takes a tragic turn. Tamara’s father, infuriated by her shameless antics demands she returns home, but Tamara refuses and defies his wishes. In an unintended rage he curses his daughter and transforms her into the flowing river Tamar, a river which defines the landscape to this day. The heart broken giant Tavy, awakened from an enchantment and seeing his love so changed, asks his own father to turn him into a river too, so he may accompany his love for eternity. His wish is granted and the gushing river Tavy traverses dartmoor to be reunited with his love before they reach the sea together.
The second brother, Torridge, also begs a sorcerer to turn him into a river, but perhaps the most tragic part of the tale, sees the wild river Torridge take a wrong turn in his grief, leaving him cursed to forever flow away from his love and his brother. Faster and ever faster in the wrong direction, while The Tamar and Tavy are as one for eternity.
This painting, inspired by an image taken from the dartmoor hills is an emotional response to this haunting tale. A story of the true sacrifice of love eternal….